PROVIDENCE – Global private equity firm Providence Equity Partners on Tuesday announced its investment in Mauritius-based Helios Towers Africa as part of a $630 million fundraising round by the independent telecommunications tower company.
“As long-term investors in the global wireless industry, we are excited about the tremendous growth potential across Africa and HTA’s unique position as the leading, independent telecoms tower company on the continent,” said Dany Rammal, a managing director at Providence Equity Partners.
Following the $630 million investment round, which also included Quantum Strategic Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management, RIT Capital Partners and the International Finance Corporation, HTA also plans to secure a syndicated loan worth more than $350 million, bringing the company’s total capital raised to nearly $1 billion.
HTA has raised more than $1.8 billion in capital since late 2009 and is now the largest tower company in Africa, with more than 7,800 towers on the continent, after agreeing Monday to buy 3,100 towers from New Delhi-based Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Chuck Green, CEO of HTA, said in a release Tuesday that the African telecom market remains “as compelling as ever” and the capital injection will allow HTA to expand in the region.
HTA’s competitors in Africa’s tower business include London-based Eaton Towers, Boston-based American Tower Corp. and Nigeria-based IHS Holding Ltd., which said in March it had raised $1.5 billion in capital over the past year.
While rivals like IHS have a mixed portfolio of owned and managed towers, HTA typically owns all its facilities, according to Chief Financial Officer Andres de Orleans Borbon.
Providence Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments, manages funds with $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989.